Sci/tech

Bye bye fertilizer, let your waste work for you.
December 26, 2007 02:59 PM - Lexington Blood, Triple Pundit

Surprisingly, the two largest components in a landfill are food and paper, both biodegradable substances. In fact, statistics clearly show that nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste is consistent of only food and paper products. The EPA clearly states that food waste is the #1 least recycled material. The problem with landfills pertaining to food and paper waste is the lack of oxygen, which so happens to be a principle partner in promoting degradation. Thanks in part to a population explosion and the lack of landfill space costs are skyrocketing for waste removal.

Neuroticism hard on the heart: study
December 26, 2007 01:53 PM - Reuters

Neuroticism -- a proclivity toward worry and emotional ups and downs -- is related to anxiety and depression, which could help explain the relationship with heart trouble, note Beverly A. Shipley of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and colleagues in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Secondhand smoke may raise child allergy risk
December 26, 2007 01:52 PM - Reuters

Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either renatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

Regular flu vaccine may help against H5N1: study
December 26, 2007 12:46 PM - Reuters

Their study is among the first to support the idea that getting an annual flu shot may help people's bodies fight off the H5N1 virus, which has killed 210 people in 13 countries and infected 341.

Sea cucumber protein used to inhibit development of malaria parasite
December 26, 2007 11:12 AM - Public Library of Science

Malaria is caused by parasites whose lives begin in the bodies of mosquitoes. When mosquitoes feed on the blood of an infected human, the malaria parasites undergo complex development in the insect’s gut. The new study has focused on disrupting this growth and development with a lethal protein, CEL-III, found in sea cucumbers, to prevent the mosquito from passing on the parasite.

Solar Powered Bottle Sorter And Other Eco-friendly Inventions By Students
December 26, 2007 10:47 AM - MIT

To meet the challenge, seven teams of 18 students in this year's 2.009 Product Engineering Processes class, taught by David Wallace, came up with a wide variety of ingenious ideas, which they presented last week at a packed session attended by about 150 outside engineers and product developers. "A big part of it is figuring out a good problem to solve," said Wallace, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and engineering systems co-director of the MIT CADlab. "Otherwise, you could do a really nice thing that's irrelevant. So the first thing is deciding where to put your energy."

Erectile dysfunction may precede Parkinson's
December 26, 2007 09:11 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Results of a study suggest an association between erectile dysfunction and an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions like heart rate and digestion, is often affected in Parkinson's disease, and erectile function, which is controlled by the autonomic system, is commonly compromised, the study team notes in a report.

Egyptian woman dies of bird flu
December 26, 2007 09:01 AM - Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Egyptian woman has died of bird flu, Egypt's Ministry of Health said on Wednesday. It is the first human death in Egypt from the virus since June and the 16th since the disease arrived in early 2006. The ministry named the woman as Ola Younis from Beni Haroun village in Beni Suef province, south of Cairo. She entered Beni Suef hospital on December 21 with a high temperature and breathing problems, was diagnosed on Tuesday and died the same day, it said in a statement.

The Danger of PBDEs
December 25, 2007 10:34 PM - UC Riverside

Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk - a potentially major concern for human health. In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.

Research Sheds Light on Cosmic Gamma-ray Burst
December 25, 2007 10:07 PM - California Institute of Technology

PASADENA, Calif.-- An analysis by the international LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration has excluded one previously leading explanation for the origin of an intense gamma-ray burst that occurred last winter. Gamma-ray bursts are among the most violent and energetic events in the universe, and scientists have only recently begun to understand their origins.

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